See inside new surf club before pollies do the honours
It's the day so many people have waited for - the official opening of the new Woolgoolga Surf Life Saving Clubhouse.
Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan and State Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh will be on hand to open the $4m clubhouse at 9.30am.
In May, the Coffs Coast Advocate, got a special tour behind the scenes with Woolgoolga SLSC President Les Pepper and Jim Philippidis, owner of Solitary Designer Homes who donated his time as project manager.
RELATED: Photos from inside new $4m clubhouse
At the time it was just a matter of waiting for the worst of the coronavirus crisis to pass and make a date for the official opening.
"On time and on budget, you don't get that very often," Les said.
The surfclub has been built to withstand the elements for up to 60 years.
"We got the money to do it and that wasn't going to come again, so we haven't spared any expense. It's been expensive but it's worth it. If you build on the cheap you only have to do it again later."
Funds have come from all three tiers of government.
One of the most striking features, other than the view from the main function/bar area upstairs, is the old wooden surf boat suspended above the kitchen.
Estimated to be over 30-years-old, it had been stored in the roof of the old clubhouse, and the intention was to use it as the bar, but that didn't work out.
Downstairs is the patrol room and first-aid room and the huge garage/storage area. The kiosk is also downstairs and this will be rented out.
It's anticipated the new clubhouse will improve response times at the beach which has seen a drowning and a number of close calls.
"At the moment the jet ski is locked in a container behind the old clubhouse and some of the equipment is stored in people's garages but with it all here in one spot the response will be much quicker."
The main entrance, with a staircase and lift, features large light shades and a restored surf life saving reel that Les estimates to be about 40-years-old.
"I used one of those when I got my bronze (medalian) in 91."
He has been the president of the club, which has about 150 senior members and 250 juniors, for 23 years.
"I was one of those surfers who used to give the 'clubies' a bit of a hard time but I joined because of my daughter and became one myself.
"Now I have a nine-year-old granddaughter in Nippers so it's gone a complete circle."
The new clubhouse is on the spot where the Marine Rescue building once stood. A new Marine Rescue Woolgoolga base was built on Arrawarra Headland and it officially opened late last year.
The old surf clubhouse just north of the new building will soon be demolished.